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Red Sox 9, Yankees 5

Red Sox continue onslaught to win third in a row against battered Yankees

Eduardo Rodriguez threw a pitch during the first inning. Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe

The Red Sox finally feel like they’re home.

They started an 11-game West Coast road trip to begin the season just after spring training. Their first game at Fenway didn’t come until April 9, roughly two weeks later. Recently, they have traveled from London to Toronto and then to Detroit to close out the first half of the season.

That’s three different countries in just over a week. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and manager Alex Cora then made the trip to Cleveland for the All-Star Game. Cora has joked that he’s felt like he hasn’t seen his kids all season.


Nonetheless, perhaps the literal bleeds over to the figurative, too. The Sox have searched for home the entire season, and after Saturday, you can’t help but think they’ve finally found it.

The Sox beat the Yankees, 9-5, for the third time in as many days on Saturday afternoon, giving themselves a chance to sweep the series on Sunday night.

After suffering what Bogaerts regarded as the worst loss of the season against the Baltimore Orioles last Friday — a series the Red Sox ended up losing — the Sox now find themselves in that second wild-card spot, leaping what appears to be a sputtering Tampa Bay Rays club.

“I think we should take this and ride with it,” Bogaerts said after Saturday’s contest, “and see how far it takes us.”

For the third straight day, the Red Sox had the pitching, offense and bullpen working in unison, which further proves the team’s firepower from last season didn’t magically disappear.

After Saturday, the Red Sox have homered 10 times during this series against the Yankees. It’s the fourth time in their history they have at least 10 homers against their AL East rival. They’ve scored a whopping 38 runs so far in this series and have exposed what’s been an underperforming, yet overall thin Yankee rotation.


The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Gio Urshela homered off Eduardo Rodriguez in the second inning. Andrew Benintendi’s homer to right off CC Sabathia in the bottom part of that frame tied it.

With the Yankees leading, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth, J.D. Martinez belted a two-run shot off Sabathia to give the Sox the lead for good. Michael Chavis added to the fourth inning scoring with an RBI single. The Red Sox chased Sabathia after 4⅓ innings, during which he surrendered nine hits and five earned runs. Sabathia, a groundball pitcher, didn’t record one out via a groundout.

“Early in the season, we weren’t able to add on throughout some games that we were leading and put teams away,” Cora said. “Now, it not only feels like the line is moving but we’re actually scoring runs when we have a chance.”

Rodriguez threw 108 pitches and delivered a solid outing, yielding three runs.

“You have to keep the game where it is with this lineup and hitting like that,” Rodriguez said, “and we know we’re going to win. It’s great every time you face them and have the opportunity to face them.”

Cora said Rodriguez has been effective for some time now and the numbers show it. He has a 3.08 ERA in his last seven starts. Until Saturday, Rodriguez hadn’t allowed three or more earned runs since his June 24 start against the White Sox. He’s won each of his last five starts, improving to a team-best 13-4 record on the season.


Matt Barnes took over for Rodriguez and he was lights out. Barnes struck out four of the five batters he faced in his 1⅓ innings, including Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in the seventh.

The Red Sox have done a decent job at limiting Barnes’s workload. Barnes worked no more than two-thirds of an inning in his three outings from July 15-22 and it’s appeared to have gotten him back on track. His fastball lived up in the zone with an average velocity of 96.9 miles per hour. He topped out at 98.3.

“Starting pitching has been great and the offense is scoring a lot of runs,” Barnes said. “Everybody is refreshed down there [in the bullpen]. Everybody’s feeling good and getting rest. It definitely makes it easier.”

Said Cora: “That’s a good thing about scoring runs. You don’t play close games all the time and you can rest him. And also you add another quality arm in the bullpen [Nathan Eovaldi] and you can go to different places.”

While Eovaldi surrendered two runs in the eighth after an impressive 12-pitch at-bat by the Yankees’ Kyle Higashioka, the stuff was there. Brandon Workman closed the door for the Sox in the ninth.

Offensively, it was a balanced attack for the Sox and they appear to be home in more ways than one.


“It’s coming at a good time,” Bogaerts said of the team’s play. “We need to win a couple more. We’re obviously not in a good position, but better than we were three days ago.”